Witness: Rail offered no resistance in Blossom Street Bridge acc - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Witness: Rail offered no resistance in Blossom Street Bridge accident


The only witness for the Blossom Street bridge accident that killed two people said the bridge's rail did not offer resistance to stop the vehicle from going into the river.

WIS obtained the complete investigative file from the Columbia Police Department into the accident that killed driver Denzil Whyatt Jr. and passenger Shannon Mickens in January. Police ruled the accident deliberate last week and classified it as murder-suicide on the incident report.

In a written statement to investigators, John Bundrick said he was the only driver heading toward Columbia on the Blossom Street Bridge at about 10:30 p.m. Jan. 16 when he spotted the SUV the couple was in driving toward Cayce.

"I do not know which lane the car was in. I was in the far right lane. Then it all happened very fast. The driver appeared to hit the brakes very hard and the SUV, the back end came toward my view and then the front of the SUV barreled over the bridge hood first into the river," Bundrick wrote in his statement. "The bridge did not offer any resistance, in my opinion. The railing went right off. I was in shock. I went over the bridge, called 911."

Bundrick said the SUV was about two car lengths in front of him and appeared to be driving 45 to 50 miles per hour. He said he did not notice anything in the road to make the vehicle have to swerve.

"My hands were shaking as I could not believe what I had witnessed," Bundrick said. "I knew no one could survive what I saw, and I hoped no children were passengers."

The SUV plummeted about 50 feet into the Congaree River from the bridge. Whyatt and Mickens drowned as a result.

Toxicology reports from the Richland County Coroner's Office showed Whyatt had alcohol and marijuana in his system at the time of the crash, with a blood-alcohol content of .127. Mickens also showed evidence of marijuana in her system.

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